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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

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THE   LIGHTHOUSE

ness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room
steps; they looked extraordinarily empty). It was
one's body feeling, not one's mind. The physical
sensations that went with the bare look of the
steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant.
To want and not to have, sent all up her body a
hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to
want and not to have—to want and want—how
that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and
again! Oh Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently,
to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract
one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to
abuse her for having gone, and then having gone,
come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking
of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could
play with easily and safely at any time of day or
night, she had been that, and then suddenly she
put her hand out and wrung the heart thus.
Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the
frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the
terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden
became like curves and arabesques flourishing
round a centre of complete emptiness.

" What does it mean? How do you explain
it all?" she wanted to say, turning to Mr,
Carmichael again. For the whole world seemed
to have dissolved in this early morning hour into
a pool of thought, a deep basin of reality, and one

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